A Fan's Guide to Georgia 5A-A Sectional Tournament at Lanier High School

We are excited to once again bring you "A Fan's Guide" to the GHSA Sectional Tournaments that are taking place this coming weekend across Georgia.  We are disappointed that the GHSA did not allow southeastwrestling.com to cover any of the events.  As a result, we are unable to provide any pics or follow-up coverage after each sectional tournament.  Regardless, we are pleased to provide the casual fan an insiders look into each bracket and what may (or may not) happen over the course of the weekend.  We make no predictions about who will win or qualify for next week's state tournament.  For each weight class we provide a few bulletpoints to watch and then a copy of the bracket (which you can see for yourself on trackwrestling.com).  Each weight class features:

  • Favorite: Our favorite to win the weight class based on this past season and past performance.
  • Contenders: A list of wrestlers that should challenge the favorite for the top step on the podium.
  • Best 1st round match: The match we believe will be the closest during the 1st round of action.
  • Darkhorse: A wrestler that did not finish 1st or 2nd in his/her area, but has all the tools to knock off everyone and take the top step.
  • Predicted Finals Match: Obviously who we believe will be in the finals.

Team Notes: School (# = # of qualifiers, # = # of Area Champs)

Individual Notes:  SQ = 2015 State Qualifier; 1st = 2015 State Champ; 2nd = 2015 State Runner-up, etc.

Area 4

  • Charles Drew (2, 0)
  • Dutchtown (5, 0)
  • Forest Park (5, 0)
  • Luella (12, 3)
  • Morrow (4, 0)
  • Mundy's Mill (2, 1)
  • Ola (8, 3)
  • Stockbridge (3, 0)
  • Union Grove (9, 6)
  • Woodland, Stockbridge (6, 1)

Area 6

  • Banneker (2, 0)
  • Carver, Atlanta (0, 0)
  • Clarkston (2, 0)
  • Creekside (0, 0)
  • Druid Hills (7, 1)
  • Dunwoody (13, 8)
  • ML King (2, 0)
  • Mays (0, 0)
  • Miller Grove (6, 2)
  • SW Dekalb (12, 3)
  • Stephenson (8, 0)
  • Tri-Cities (0, 0)

Area 7

  • Cambridge (8, 2)
  • Cass (12, 3)
  • Creekview (6, 3)
  • Dalton (6, 0)
  • Forsyth Central (5, 0)
  • North Atlanta (1, 0)
  • North Springs (1, 0)
  • River Ridge (1, 0)
  • Riverwood (1, 0)
  • Rome (1, 0)
  • Sequoyah (0, 0)
  • Woodland, Cartersville (14, 6)

Area 8

  • Apalachee (5, 1)
  • Cedar Shoals (0, 0)
  • Clarke Central (12, 9)
  • Discovery (2, 0)
  • Flowery Branch (4, 1)
  • Gainesville (6, 1)
  • Heritage, Conyers (9, 0)
  • Lanier (8, 1)
  • Loganville (3, 1)
  • Salem (5, 1)
  • Winder Barrow (2, 0)

106 lbs.

  • Favorite: Kyle Golhoffer (Woodland) - Area 7 Champion
  • Contenders:
    • Bryson Neace (Union Grove) - Area 4 Champion
    • Brandon Navixay (Clarke Central) - Area 8 Champion
    • Avery Brown (SW Dekalb) - Area 6 Champion
    • Cameron Hunter (Luella)
    • Matthew Tankersly - 4th @ 106
  • Best 1st Round Match: Matthew Tankersly vs. Hunter Daniel
  • Darkhorse: Hunter Daniel (Ola)
  • Finals: Golhoffer vs. Navixay
  • Summary:  Wooland's Kyle Golhoffer is clearly #1 and is a significant favorite in Section A.  Neace would be #2, but given that he is on the same side of the bracket ... we look to Navixay, Brown, and others on the bottom side.  No one on the top side should challenge either Neace or Golhoffer ... and Neace will battle with Golhoffer, but it likely won't be enough to beat him.  Navixay gets the nod to advance to the finals because of the draw.  He gets a pass into the 2nd round - where he will meet Tankersly or Daniel (which should be a very good 1st round match) - then he gets the winner of Brown and Hunter (could be Perez ... ).  Anyway the Navixay should have the best opportunity to advance.  Don't sleep on Tankersly though ... a returning State Placer, he has the ability to beat everyone on that side of the bracket and wrestle Golhoffer again for another title.

 

113 lbs.

  • Favorite: Bryce Davis (Creekview) - 1st @ 106
  • Contenders:
    • Benjamin Preal (Luella) - SQ @ 106
    • Jesus Montero (Woodland)
    • Coby Ficklin (SW Dekalb) - Area 6 Champion
    • Cleveland Belton (Clarke Central) - Area 8 Champion
    • Makenzie Rannals (Lanier) - SQ @ 106
  • Best 1st Round Match: Makenzie Rannals vs. Devin Garrett
  • Darkhorse: Devin Garrett (Cass) or Kenen Uribe-Ochoa (Forest Park)
  • Finals: Preal vs. Davis
  • Summary: Davis is the returning 106 lb. State Champion and is our favorite to capture the Section Title.  Cleveland Belton of Clarke Central has been superb all season, but resides on the same side of the bracket as Davis.  On the top side, Preal appears to have an easier road to the finals.  He should have a tough Montero in the quarters and then Ficklin, Alexander, Rannals, or Garrett in the semifinals.  All fine wrestlers, but none in the same league as either Belton or Davis (the likely other semifinal).  Keep an eye on 2015 State Qualifiers Michael Parker of Dutchtown and Kenen Uribe-Ochoa of Forest Park.

 

120 lbs.

  • Favorite: Davion Fairley (Union Grove) - 3rd @ 113
  • Contenders:
    • Jahvar Lewis (Woodland) - 2nd @ 113
    • Radre Fears (SW Dekalb) - SQ @ 113
    • Tyler Pilcher (Cass)
    • Damien Pickett (Clarke Central) - Area 8 Champion
    • Jackson DiSario (Ola)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Tyler Pilcher vs. Aundarrius Weems
  • Darkhorse: Aundarrius Weems (Luella) - SQ @ 113
  • Finals: Fairley vs. DiSario
  • Summary: Who to pick between Fairley and Lewis?  Tough choice.  We go with Fairley because he has wrestled some of the best competition at 126 before coming down to 120.  Lewis, on the other hand, jumped up from 113 and the battle between the two should be an excellent match to watch.  On the bottom side of the bracket we have a ton of unknowns.  Fears and Pickett are the two Area Champions in that side of the bracket, but the competition with Pilcher, Weems, DiSario, and Wells should be fierce.  Don't be surprised to see an Area 4 finals revisited with Fairley and DiSario going at it once again.

 

126 lbs.

  • Favorite: Patrick Isip (Clarke Central) - 4th @ 126
  • Contenders:
    • Brady Massey (Union Grove) - Area 4 Champion
    • Hunter Kurowski (Forsyth Central) - SQ @ 120
    • Dawson Woods (Woodland) - 3rd @ 106
    • Lifahn Adams (Heritage) - SQ @ 113
    • Chris Solo (Dunwoody) - 4th @ 113
  • Best 1st Round Match: Alfonza Farley vs. Cody Mauldin
  • Darkhorse: Cody Mauldin (Cass)
  • Finals: Isip vs. Woods
  • Summary: Very good weight class.  State Placers Isip, Woods, and Solo should all be in the mix for the top step.  Isip is in the fortunate position to be able to watch the other two placers go at it on the bottom side of the bracket.  Isip will more than likely need to take care of returning State Qualifier Hunter Kurowski to advance to the semifinals (where he could meet freshman Brady Massey of Union Grove).  Keep an eye on the Woods vs. Adams quarterfinal match ... it should be fun to watch.

 

132 lbs.

  • Favorite: Logan Sims (Woodland) - 3rd @ 120
  • Contenders:
    • Dustin Berry (Luella) - Area 4 Champion
    • Ronny Link (Flowery Branch) - 4th @ 120
    • Bangahly Touray (Clarke Central) - SQ @ 132
    • Jordan Page (Dunwoody) - Area 6 Champion
  • Best 1st Round Match: Jahi Deloatch (Woodland, Stockbridge) vs. Parker Evans
  • Darkhorse: Parker Evans (Forsyth Central)
  • Finals: Sims vs. Touray
  • Summary: Sims appears to be significantly better than the field, even struggling with a knee problem.  But he doesn't have the easiest path to the finals (in fact he probably has the toughest).  Wrestling returning 120 lb. State Placer Ronny Link in the quarters, Area 4 Champion Dustin Berry in the semifinals and a tough Bangahly Touray in the finals will make for a tough weekend.  Touray should handle the bottom side of the bracket with relative ease ... he can't look past Mitchel of Cass or Page of Dunwoody, but the path isn't nearly as difficult as the one on the top side (remember he put himself in that position because he beat Link in the Area 8 finals).  Keep an eye on Parker Evans of Forsyth Central.

 

138 lbs.

  • Favorite: Brandon Filosi (Cambridge) - 1st in 2014
  • Contenders:
    • Daniel Reid (Luella) - Area 4 Champion
    • Hunter Quinn (Cass) - 4th @ 132
    • Jerson Garcia (Gainesville) - SQ @ 145
  • Best 1st Round Match: Ericq Hall vs. Nitario King
  • Darkhorse: Ryan Camp (Creekview) - 6th @ 138
  • Finals: Quinn vs. Filosi
  • Summary: Area 7 flexed its muscle at 138 lbs. and there is little reason to believe that they won't have 3 of the 4 top spots in the sectional.  We would say 3 of the top 3 spots, but the match between Reid and Camp could be a good one in the top quarter of the bracket.  Quinn should easily handle to second quarter and it would be a surprise if he doesn't advance out of the top side.  Filosi is significantly better than the bottom side of the bracket and should easily advance to meet Quinn.  Filosi beat Quinn 10-8 to take the Area 7 title last weekend ... what will happen this time around?

 

145 lbs.

  • Favorite: Justin Ruffin (Union Grove) - 1st @ 132
  • Contenders:
    • Evan Gianfala (Creekview) - SQ @ 132
    • Me'Shai Coleman (Clarke Central) - Area 8 Champion
    • Spencer Cooper (Woodland) - 2nd @ 138
    • Max Tuch (Dunwoody) - SQ @ 138
  • Best 1st Round Match: Ken Flenoy vs. Leon Pellew
  • Darkhorse: Jaylen Callahan (Cass)
  • Finals: Ruffin vs. Cooper
  • Summary: Gianfala's 6-4 win over returning State Runner-up Spencer Cooper was perhaps not as good as first appeared.  As a result, he is on the same side of the bracket as returning State Champion Justin Ruffin of Union Grove.  The old saying, "you have to beat the champ, to be the champ" is true and Gianfala should get his shot at Ruffin Saturday morning.  Cooper on the the other hand will need to bounce back and beat a talented Me'Shai Coleman of Clarke Central Friday evening if he hopes to take the top step on the podium.  One other person to keep an eye on is returning State Qualifier Max Tuch of Dunwoody.  Tuch should be waiting on the Coleman/Cooper winner Saturday morning with a trip to the finals on the line.  Expect Ruffin to continue to do what he does ... win.  He hasn't lost since early this season (to 2x Florida State champ Anthony Artalona of Tampa Prep) and it won't likely happen this weekend.

 

152 lbs.

  • Favorite: Cody Cochran (Woodland) - 1st @ 145
  • Contenders:
    • Trent Parker (Ola) - Area 4 Champion
    • Will Britain (Cambridge) - 2nd @ 145
    • Gary Freeman (Miller Grove) - SQ @ 152
    • Dylan Staples (Apalchee) - Area 8 Champion
  • Best 1st Round Match: Gavin Venable vs. Khalil Farmer
  • Darkhorse: Khalil Farmer (Cass)
  • Finals: Cochran vs. Britain
  • Summary: In a rematch of last year's 145 lb. 5A State Finals, Woodland's Cody Cochran downed Cambridge's Will Britain 6-4 to capture the Area 7 title last weekend.  Expect the two of them to go at it again this coming weekend ... this time with the 5A Section A title on the line.  Unfortunately for Gary Freeman of Miller Grove, a returning 152 State Qualifier, he will likely take on Britain in Friday evening's quarterfinals.  Keep an eye on Trent Parker of Ola, Matthew Chucci of Loganville, Branden Muse of SW Dekalb, Dylan Staples of Apalachee, Gavin Venable of Union Grove, and Khalil Farmer of Cass as they battle for the spots behind Cochran, Britain, and Freeman.

 

160 lbs.

  • Favorite: Braden Johnson (Creekview) - 1st @ 152
  • Contenders:
    • Hans Evatt (Woodland, Stockbridge) - Area 4 Champion
    • Calvin Nimely (Clarke Central) - Area 8 Champion
    • Liam Quigley (Riverwood) - 5th @ 170 in 2A
    • Ben Williams (Dunwoody) - SQ @ 152
  • Best 1st Round Match: Tyler Person vs. Terrell Knight
  • Darkhorse: Joseph Jones (Woodland) - SQ @ 160
  • Finals: Quigley vs. Johnson
  • Summary: Johnson, the returning State champion at 152, looked good in capturing the Area 7 title a week ago.  He easily downed CJ McKnight of Cass and then beat 2A State Placer Liam Quigley of Riverwood 8-4.  Don't be surprised if we see that match again this Saturday.  Quigley's path to a rematch isn't as clear, but Johnson should feel confident about a return trip to the Sectional finals in 2016.  The bottom side of the bracket should pose few challenges for the defending State Champion ... in fact the biggest question is who will advance to meet him in the semifinals on Saturday morning.  On the top side, Quigley will likely need to beat Clarke Central's Calvin Nimely before battling Evatt, Morgan or Woodland's Joseph Jones (who Quigley beat 3-1 in the Area 7 semifinal).

 

170 lbs.

  • Favorite: Blake Meadows (Ola) - 4th @ 170
  • Contenders:
    • Houstan Jones (Cass)
    • Constantin Gualas (Dunwoody)
    • Melvin Nimely (Clarke Central) - SQ @ 160
    • Ethan Wilson (Lanier) - SQ @ 152
    • Luke Williams (Cambridge)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Vronsay Samuel vs. Timothy Dorsey
  • Darkhorse: Timothy Dorsey (Luella)
  • Finals: Meadows vs. Williams
  • Summary: Returning State Placer Blake Meadows headlines a solid group.  Returning State Qualifiers Melvin Nimely of Clarke Central and Ethan Wilson of Lanier have the experience and headline the group chasing Meadows.  Keep an eye on Gualas and Jones on the top side and Hunter Lee of Union Grove on the bottom side.  The potential quarterfinal match-ups between Meadows and Jones, Gualas and Nimely, and Williams and Lee should be fun to watch.  Don't be surprised if Luella's Timothy Dorsey or Miller Grove's Avery Towns surprise a few people and put their name in the mix.

 

182 lbs.

  • Favorite: Owen Graham (Clarke Central) - 5th @ 182
  • Contenders:
    • Luke Vinson (Union Grove) - 5th @ 160
    • Joseph Reese (Dalton)
    • Darwin Osorio (Dunwoody - Area 6 Champion
    • Chance Scrutchins (Cass) - Area 7 Champion
  • Best 1st Round Match: Brandon Rogers vs. Alejandro Garcia
  • Darkhorse: Alejandro Garcia (Lanier)
  • Finals: Graham vs. Scrutchins
  • Summary: Vinson and Graham headline the 182 lb. bracket.  Both are returning State Placers and both have had very successful seasons.  Their semifinal bout (assuming both make it to that point) will be one to watch.  Don't sleep on Joseph Reese of Dalton.  Reese, the top seed in Area 7, fell to Scrutchins 10-8 in the Area finals a week ago.  On the bottom side, Osorio is positioned well, but must contend with Woodland's Raekwon Hicks and the Santibanez/Williams winner.  Scrutchins is benefitted by having both Vinson and Graham on the opposite side of the bracket ... now he needs to take care of business and advance to the finals.

 

195 lbs.

  • Favorite: Camden Johnson (Union Grove) - SQ @ 182
  • Contenders:
    • Shimobi Obijurur (Clarke Central)
    • Brett Shedd (Woodland) - SQ @ 195
    • Tripp Breeden (Cass) - Area 7 Champion
    • Anthony Constantini (Gainesville) - SQ @ 170
    • Myles Hudgins (Miller Grove)
    • Shane Shirley (Ola)
  • Best 1st Round Match: Andre Parland vs. Eric Cizek
  • Darkhorse: Eric Cizek (Cambridge)
  • Finals: Johnson vs. Breeden
  • Summary: Excellent weight class.  Very evenly matched throughout and as a result we should have some very close matches.  Johnson enters as the favorite, but that nod could have gone to a number of others.  Several of the Area Champions beat a returning State Qualifier en route to their Area title ... meaning there are several quarterfinals that should be fun to watch.  Keep an eye on Obijurur vs. Shedd and Breeden vs. Constantini - they could be the most enjoyable from a fans point of view.

 

220 lbs.

  • Favorite: Hunter Hardin (Woodland) - Area 7 Champion
  • Contenders:
    • Jhante Charles (Mundy's Mill) - SQ @ 220
    • Tucker Sumner (Dalton) - SQ @ 220
    • Anthony Woodall (Flowery Branch) - Area 8 Champion
    • Demarco Mosley (Druid Hills) - Area 6 Champion
  • Best 1st Round Match: Robert Thomas vs. Sebastian Legarra
  • Darkhorse: Sebastian Legarra (Forsyth Central)
  • Finals: Sumner vs. Hardin
  • Summary: Really good weight class because it will be hard to predict what happens.  Just 2 2015 State Qualifiers return in the bracket, Charles and Sumner, and they are in the same quarter.  Robert Thomas and Sebastian Legarra should be one of the best 1st round matches of the tournament.  Area 6 Champion Demarco Mosley better not look ahead because Cambridge's Trey Wolfe is a very tough out for anyone in the bracket ... the winner of that match could easily be in Saturday morning's semifinals.  Woodland's Hunter Hardin has wrestled probably the best competition of anyone in the bracket and, as a result, he is our favorite.  But don't be fooled ... any number wrestlers could grab the top step for themselves.

 

285 lbs.

  • Favorite:  Daniel Gothard (Dunwoody) - Area 6 Champion 
  • Contenders:
    • Cameron Best (Winder Barrow)
    • Seven Richards (Cass) - Area 7 Champion
    • Trenelius Craddock (SW Dekalb) - SQ @ 220
    • Brandon Joseph (Salem) - Area 8 champion
    • Sauvignon Hayes (Ola) - Area 4 Champion
  • Best 1st Round Match: Cameron Best vs. Joel Maldonado
  • Darkhorse: Joel Maldonado (North Atlanta)
  • Finals: Gothard vs. Richards
  • Summary: From what we can tell ... the only wrestler in the bracket that qualified for the 2015 5A State Tournament was Area 6 Runner-up Trenelius Craddock of SW Dekalb.  What does that mean?  Mostly, that this is likely anyone's race for the top step.  Obviously we begin with the 4 Area Champions - Hayes, Gothard, Richards, and Joseph.  Richards entered as the top seed in Area 7, and emerged the champion with a 3-1 decision over Woodland's Dalton May.  Hayes has had a very good season for Ola and Alexander Izzirray of Woodland, Stockbridge to take the Area 4 title.  We don't know much about either Gothard or Joseph, but given their ascendance to the top step last weekend, they must be considered a threat to take home a sectional title as well.  Add in that Gothard beat Craddock in the Area 6 finals and you have to consider him a contender.  Keep an eye on Joel Maldonado of North Atlanta.